Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Sweet Bread Bunnies

I know this post comes a day late, but I didn't finish the bunnies until near midnight due to a dinner party with friends. My mom used to make these when I was a kid, circa 1990's, and they definitely made an impression because I can still remember them when Easter rolls around (Haha, get it? Rolls!). You can personalize the recipe by adding finely chopped dried apricots, hazelnuts, almonds, golden raisins, or anything else you feel like tossing in! I'm a fan of dried apricots and hazelnuts myself, super delish! My mom says the recipe comes from a Gourmet Magazine recipe from the 80's, in which they shaped the dough into Teddy Bears they named the "Golden Teddy" for Christmas.

Easter Sweet Bread Bunnies

1 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup room-temperature heavy whipping cream
2 large room-temperature eggs
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
4 cups all purpose flour

Optional Glaze

1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp milk

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, water, sugar, cream, eggs, salt and butter. Add the flour a 1/2 cup at a time until fully combined. Knead the dough well and place into a bowl, lightly greased at the top and covered with a tea towel. Allow to rise for 2 1/2 hours, then shape into bunny shapes on a cookie sheet. (Feel free to get creative, or just see my mother's dough design below)

Allow the dough to rise for another 45 minutes on the cookie sheet and preheat the oven for 400 degrees. Before placing in the oven, brush the tops of the bunnies with the egg yolk and milk mixture. Bake the bunnies for 20 minutes, allow to cool on a rack, and enjoy!

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